Agudath Israel of America is applauding the US Department of Justice (DOJ) for outlining measures that will improve efforts to fight against hate crimes and hate incidents, including those perpetrated against the Jewish community.

In a memo to DOJ employees, Attorney General Merrick Garland explained that the steps being taken reflect recommendations made in response to an expedited review he directed of how the agency can better counter hate crimes, as well as the Department’s implementation of the Jabara-Heyer NO HATE Act, recently signed by President Biden.

“As hate crimes rise, it is critical that the federal government rethink and look for new and improved ways to address the problem,” asserted Rabbi Abba Cohen, Vice President for Government Affairs and Washington Director for Agudath Israel of America. “This is particularly true of anti-Semitic incidents, which have dramatically spiked, and of expressions of anti-Semitism, which have come from many quarters and taken on many forms in both word and deed.”

According to the Attorney General’s memo, the Department will be taking steps to “improve incident reporting, increasing law enforcement training and coordination at all levels of government, prioritizing community outreach, and making better use of civil enforcement mechanisms.” In implementing the NO HATE Act, measures will include increasing resources and coordination devoted to fighting hate crimes, expediting review of hate crimes, and calling for the creation of local DOJ-community alliances against hate.

“Agudath Israel was pleased to support the NO HATE Act, as it addressed a number of issues that we raised with the Department over the past several years, particularly the difficulties the community faced in the reporting of hate crimes and in the local follow-up in pursuing such incidents,” Rabbi Cohen noted.

“We thank the Biden Administration for taking these steps and look forward to working with it, and state and local authorities, in tackling the affliction of hate.”